ATLANTA -- The last time Gary Tuell was thrown out of a game, it was planned. Wednesday's early departure was, well, unexpected.
Augusta State's coach was hit with a double technical with 2:47 remaining in the first half and missed the remainder of Georgia State's 93-64 victory over the Jaguars.
"It was a rinky-dink call," Tuell said. "The guy copped an attitude with me. I just made one comment. It was just a guy having a bad day."
Augusta State (1-5) actually played better without Tuell.
While he watched the second half from the upper reaches of the Georgia State Sports Arena and assistant Buck Harris called the shots, the Jaguars shot 43.6 percent against the Panthers (3-3), the only Division I team on their schedule this season.
"I just sat up there up in the skyboxes with a Coke and a hot dog and enjoyed watching them play," Tuell said. "Once we got over the fact that they we were playing a Division I team, we played well. The first 20 minutes, we didn't compete and didn't have the right mental approach. Once they had their pride wounded, they gave a lot more effort."
Tuell had not been tossed from a game since he was the coach at St. Thomas University in Miami during the 1994-95 season. A young assistant was leaving to be a head coach at another school, and Tuell wanted to give him game experience, so he schemed with the officials to get thrown out.
"I told them if I take care of the first one, they would have to give me the second one," Tuell said. "They went along with it. I got the first one early. I walked out on the floor and they gave me another one and I winked at them when I left. My assistant knew about it. I had already told him I was going to get tossed."
Tuell, in his first season at Augusta State, plans to schedule more Division I schools. He is trying to get Utah, Georgia, Georgia Tech, South Carolina and possibly Louisville for the future.
That would be just fine with sophomore guard Oliver Ottley.
"This is good exposure for us to come up here and play a big school like this," said Ottley, who led the Jaguars with 18 points. "We were a little intimidated at first, but once we sweated with them and competed with them, we figured out that they're not better than us. This just makes us better for when we play people in our conference. This makes us more competitive."
Georgia State, coached by former Maryland coach Lefty Driesell, led 28-8 just 12 minutes into the game, and despite some mini-runs by the Jaguars, remained in control.
Augusta State couldn't match the Panthers' quickness, and especially had trouble keeping 6-foot-6 Quincy Gause and 6-5 Maurice Robertson off the boards. Gause and Robertson, a transfer from Tennessee, combined for 34 points and 17 rebounds.
"Our guys don't know how to win," Tuell said. "They're learning. Games like this will help. We gave up a home game against Claflin (the Jaguars' only victory) for this one, and it will pay off in the end."
AUGUSTA STATE (64) -- Brunson 5-11 0-0 11, McClain 3-13 2-2 8, Ottley 8-16 2-5 18, Taylor 6-11 1-2 14, Woolfolk 4-12 3-6 11, Burau 0-5 0-0 0, Larkin 0-0 0-0 0, Paige 1-4 0-0 2, Waters 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 27-73 8-15 64.
GEORGIA STATE (93) -- Hamilton 5-14 8-9 18, Pinkett 5-9 0-0 13, Gause 8-10 1-1 17, Robertson 6-10 5-5 17, Savvidis 4-8 0-0 8, Murphy 0-1 0-0 0, Searcy 4-8 0-0 8, Zak 3-6 3-4 9, Beckett 0-1 1-2 1, Gresham 1-1 0-0 1. Totals 36-68 18-21 93.
Halftime -- Georgia State 48-25.
3-point goals -- ASU 2-14 (Brunson 1-3, Taylor 1-4, McClain 0-2, Ottley 0-2, Burau 0-2, Waters 0-1); GSU 3-9 (Pinkett 3-5, Robertson 0-2, Zak 0-1, Beckett 0-1). Fouled out -- Pinkett. Rebounds -- ASU 39 (Woolfolk 10), GSU 42 (Gause 9), Assists -- ASU 9 (Burau 4), GSU 22 (Hamilton 9). Turnovers -- ASU 19, GSU 18. Total fouls -- ASU 18, GSU 18. A -- 1,015.